Did you know that blockchain can support local communities?
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Did you know that blockchain can support local communities?

Did you know that blockchain can support local communities?

Paul Jennekens

Manager Marketing Worldline Financial Services

It’s one of the great challenges of city management and urban planning. You know that some actions would help your community, especially if adopted en masse. But how do you get them to do it? Laws and rules about what to do and not do have their limits, as do appeals. It’s time to find another incentive. Meet Koins and the Community.

The idea behind Koins and the Community is to empower communities to encourage actions that improve quality of life or make the town safer, healthier and cleaner. It’s a little nudge to foster good habits or encourage people to change bad ones. Koins are digital currencies for a municipality that provide a safe and effective way to incentivise behaviour whilst also supporting local businesses and institutions.

This can work in a few different ways. Imagine you’re a local administrator. Maybe you’re a member of a municipal council, an alderman or the mayor in a municipality. Like many local administrators across Europe, you have a couple of problems in the historic centre of your town. The merchants there are struggling, so you need to encourage people to shop there. At the same time, however, you need to discourage car traffic to the centre, due to road conditions, overcrowding and the environment. These two problems seem at odds with each other. So, what do you do?

Koins are the answers

If you were an administrator facing a dilemma like this, you could use Koins and the Community. It’s a private blockchain environment that is secure and easy to deploy. Let’s look at how that can work to solve your dilemma.

You and your town management would take the X amount of euros you have budgeted to solve your traffic problems and decide which incentives you would like to launch. Then, it’s as easy as reaching out to local merchants and letting inhabitants know about your new incentive programme. To solve your town-centre problem, you’ve decided to promote and reward the use of city bikes or public transport.

When someone takes public transit or a city bike to get to the city centre, they earn Koins. You can decide if it’s every time or only during likely shopping or dining out hours. You can set a limit or change the parameters as you go. The digital currency (Koins) people earn is then redeemable at the merchants you’re trying to support. For the merchants, it’s as easy as using an app to generate a QR code and they can use the Koins with local suppliers to contribute to the local economy or ask for a reimbursement. For consumers, it’s easy to access Koins on a mobile app. All they need to use them is scan the merchant’s QR code and click send. It’s simple for them to get a discount with local merchants or restaurants by partially paying with the Koins they’ve earned.

Reward good behaviour and support local merchants

Koins can be an incentive for a wide variety of actions that benefit a community. For instance, you can reward people for taking their electronic recyclables to the sorting centre. You can reward street-cleaning projects. You can reward volunteers with Koins that they can spend at a community pool to relax after a hard day’s work. These are just a few examples from the limitless possible uses of Koins and the Community. It’s an interesting way to both reorient spending towards local businesses and encourage community-centric actions.

Best of all, it’s safe and easy. The private blockchain means administrators have easy oversight of transactions with high-level security built into its design. What’s more, the tools that merchants and consumers use to spend Koins are widely familiar. After two years of pandemic-related measures, the majority of the population knows how to use QR codes and pay by apps.

Suitable for communities of all sizes

Koins and the Community is a useful tool for municipalities because it allows them to precisely encourage civic behaviours whilst supporting local businesses and institutions. It takes the reliability, security and flexibility of advanced technology and places it in the hands of local administrators who are too often forced to work with outdated tools. Because it’s built on Worldline’s existing products, it’s not only easy to manage and deploy, but it’s also priced to be affordable. As a result, it’s also an attractive option for less wealthy towns. Municipalities of all sizes can use Koins to help build towards their communal goals.

Still curious? Please visit our website for more information on how it all works.